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How to Store Your ATV for the Winter

A man in a yellow helmet rides a Quad bike through the woods

ATV storage is something to plan out carefully in advance, since your ATV is an expensive piece of equipment and you want to be able to use as long as possible. Just as you would after a long ride, you’ll want to maintain and preserve your ATV for future use, just on a larger scale.

Like all recreational vehicles, interior storage is recommended for the best weather protection. Of course, the size of your ATV will dictate what storage space you need, but a drive up storage unit can make the ATV storage process even smoother with easy dropoff and pickup from your unit. But even if you need to keep your ATV outside, we can help you plan for proper long-term storage that will protect your investment for years to come. See the information below to get started, so you’ll be ready to ride with confidence when the weather beckons.

# ATV Storage Tips

1. Clean Your ATV

It’s a tough job to clean your ATV, since the dirt and rocks it’s made to go through may be stuck in the tires and settle in small parts and crevices. Make this task easy on yourself by investing in a pressure washer rather than just a hose. Then use soap and rinse well before lubricating (including the exhaust pipes). This will allow you to spot any areas of damage as you’re inspecting it, so you can make any necessary repairs or replacements before storing your ATV for the season.

2. Make Maintenance a Priority

Along with changing the oil and filter (using the recommended oil, since a cheaper brand can actually damage your ATV), be sure to inflate your tires. For even greater tire protection, store your ATV on a stand to relieve added pressure and avoid flat spotting. Also be sure to remove your air filter for long-term storage. Taking the time to maintain your ATV now will prevent rust, deflation of your tires, and overall wear and tear on your ATV.

You may be wondering whether to fuel or not to fuel when storing your quad for the winter. This is important, because the instructions can be completely different, depending on what type of tank your quad has. If you have a metal tank, be sure to fill up your gas tank and then add the fuel stabilizer. Then run the engine so that your ATV absorbs the fuel and is ready to go when you get it out for use. Otherwise, if you have a plastic tank, drain all your fuel before ATV storage. When in doubt, follow your manufacturer’s recommendations on proper care for storage.

3. Be Kind to Your Battery

Unused batteries don’t last long, so you’ll want to remove the battery and make sure it’s getting charged, even when stored away. Two important items to consider are a trickle charger (especially if your ATV is being stored outside, where it can be exposed to extreme cold for long periods of time) or a battery tender. A battery tender doesn’t take much energy to keep your battery charged and employs a specific technology that keeps the battery charged without damaging it. This is a must-have item for anyone with an all-terrain vehicle.

4. Choose Your ATV Cover Carefully

An ATV cover is especially important if your quad will be stored outside for the winter, since your ATV will be at risk of weather damage from repeated exposure to the sun, rain and extreme temperatures. For this reason, a waterproof cover that’s heavy duty (double stitched) with an elastic hem is best, to completely cover your ATV while keeping the humidity, dust, and any invasive animals from damaging your equipment. Look for a cover that’s specifically made for an ATV and that’s made of synthetic, breathable material to prevent rust. You don’t even have to leave home to find the right cover — both Amazon and atv.com have lots of options to choose from, as a starting point. Regardless of what ATV cover you use, always avoid plastic; this way, any moisture that builds up can evaporate away from your ATV.

From here, it’s up to you to decide whether to cover and store your ATV outside or within a storage facility like Self Storage Plus. Again, interior ATV storage is always recommended for the best preservation of your quad, but if that’s not an option for you, consider the following:

  • Store your ATV in a dry area — if that’s your garage, make sure it’s shielded from windows so there is no sunlight damage
  • Chain up your ATV and install a security camera for additional safety
  • Build or buy a shed to store your ATV in, as an alternative to a storage facility; if that’s not available, park your ATV near a building for added weather protection
  • Make sure to cover all openings to protect from insects, animals and debris, and to keep parts lubricated

Secure ATV Storage with Self Storage Plus

Still have questions about how to preserve your ATV when it’s not in use? At Self Storage Plus in the Greater Washington, D.C., and Baltimore area, we can help. To see the full range of storage unit sizes available and learn more about how we can meet your ATV storage needs with expert assistance, from climate control to 24-hour security, find a Self Storage Plus location near you.

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Self Storage Plus

P.O. Box 25523

Washington, DC 20027

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